Chalk a big one up for metals in the ongoing battle with engineering plastics for applications that reduce weight of cars. Novelis Inc, an Indian-owned spin-off from Alcan, will supply aluminum sheet for the hood of the 2008 Buick Enclave. Novelis describes itself as the world’s leading supplier of high performance aluminum sheet for use in automotive applications. The Enclave is a beautifully designed vehicle that was first shown at the Detroit Auto Show in 2006. It’s a cousin to GMC’s Acadia crossover vehicle, which also features an aluminum hood made with Novelis sheet. Both vehicles are built on GM’s all-new Lambda unibody architecture. Aluminum sheet for the Enclave and the Acadia is supplied from Novelis plants in Oswego, NY, and Kingston, Ontario
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
The 100-percent solar-powered Solar Impulse plane flies on a piloted, cross-country flight this summer over the US as a prelude to the longer, round-the-world flight by its successor aircraft planned for 2015.
GE Aviation expects to chop off about 25 percent of the total 3D printing time of metallic production components for its LEAP Turbofan engine, using in-process inspection. That's pretty amazing, considering how slow additive manufacturing (AM) build times usually are.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.